From: Vice Provost, Libraries, Computing and Technology
Assistant Vice President for Finance, CFO and Controller
Associate Provost for Academic Services
Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and Executive Director, MSU Technologies
Subject: Avoiding use of online software tools such as Google Apps, Gmail, and Microsoft Office Live
Please share this message with faculty and staff in your units.
To illustrate one concern, the terms to which you agree when you use Google Apps (http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS?hl=en) include the following; which compromises the University's intellectual property rights and the security of University records:
"You [user] retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. BY SUBMITTING, POSTING OR DISPLAYING THE CONTENT YOU GIVE GOOGLE A PERPETUAL, IRREVOCABLE, WORLDWIDE, ROYALTY-FREE, AND NON-EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO REPRODUCE, ADAPT, MODIFY, TRANSLATE, PUBLISH, PUBLICLY PERFORM, PUBLICLY DISPLAY AND DISTRIBUTE ANY CONTENT WHICH YOU SUBMIT, POST OR DISPLAY ON OR THROUGH, THE SERVICES. . You agree that this license INCLUDES A RIGHT FOR GOOGLE TO MAKE SUCH CONTENT AVAILABLE TO OTHER COMPANIES, ORGANIZATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS WITH WHOM GOOGLE HAS RELATIONSHIPS for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services." (emphasis added)
Furthermore, neither Google nor Microsoft makes any promise to back up content, secure confidential or proprietary content, or provide free service for any particular period of time. If they change their minds about the business utility of this model, it may simply go away one day.